A manifestation of Shakti, hidden hero of Ramayana and wife of the seventh incarnation of Vishnu (Rama), Sita is my favourite mythological character, and it’s not hard to see why.
A much-loved ideal mother, wife and daughter, Sita was given birth by mother earth, and she was later adopted by King Janak and Queen Sunaina of Mithila. Siya, Janaki, Maithili, Vaidehi and Bhumija were a few of her many names, though she is well known by the name of ‘Sita’ in most parts of India.
She was married to Lord Rama of Ayodhya through the process of ‘swayamvara’, and was brought back to Ayodhya with much pomp and splendor. Alas, she soon went in exile to the forest with Lord Rama and Lakshman; which was followed by a rather shocking event as she got abducted by Ravana, who took her back to his city, Lanka, to ask for her hand in marriage. But Sita remained defiant and courageous, and patiently waited for Rama to rescue her, which he soon did, after killing Ravana. But Sita’s troubles were, regrettably, not yet over.
Lord Rama soon asked her to give the Agni Pariksha to test her purity. Sita calmly and confidently gave it and was then accepted by Lord Rama and brought back to the kingdom of Ayodhya. Unfortunately, she was once again dropped off back to the forest near Sage Valmiki’s ashram, after Lord Rama heard a washerman complaining about Sita’s purity, as, after all, she had spent a lot of time in Ravana’s palace and it seemed unfit, according to him, for Sita to come back.
Sita, heartbroken but helpless, went back to the forest and soon gave birth to a pair of twin boys, Luv and Kush. Many years passed, and eventually, Lord Rama decided to fetch Sita back, regardless of what others thought of this decision. But no matter how many times he insisted and implored, Sita refused to come back. She was fed-up and insulted by this continuous doing of what others wanted her to do, thus, she took a final decision and decided to escape this cruel world once and for all, and live a better life elsewhere, for she didn’t deserve what all had happened to her.
She had fulfilled her purpose.
Taking one last look at her sons reunited with their father, she heaved a sigh and embraced Mother Earth with open arms, and went back to her mother’s womb, from where she was born.
She didn’t have to go to the forest in the first place. Yet the love and respect for her husband prevented her from doing so. She could have married Ravana. Yet her loyalty prevented her from doing so. She could have refused from giving the Agni Pariksha, she could have said no when asked to go to exile again; yet her bravery, courage and humility prevented her from doing so. She could have gone back to Ayodhya in the end.
Yet Sita’s self-respect advised her to take a much better decision, which she did.